Adherence to Oral Hypoglycemic Agents in Hawaii
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Adherence to Oral Hypoglycemic Agents in Hawaii

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      Prev Chronic Dis
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      Introduction Adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents is essential to reducing the poor health outcomes of populations at high risk for developing diabetes and its chronic complications. The goal of this study was to identify characteristics of patients in Hawaii least likely to adhere to oral hypoglycemic agents. Methods This retrospective administrative data analysis included prescription refill claims for oral hypoglycemic agents from January 1, 1999, through June 30, 2003 (n = 20,685). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between adherence and patient characteristics. Results Adherence was found to be strongly associated with age and ethnicity. Relative to the age subset 55 to 64 years, adherence increased as age increased, reaching a peak at age 74 (odds ratio [OR] 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–1.20). Past the age of 85, adherence declined (OR 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82–0.98). Relative to white patients, the odds ratio of adherence was highest for Japanese patients (OR 1.20; 95% CI, 1.0–1.30) and lowest for Filipino patients (OR 0.78; 95% CI, 0.68–0.90). Gender was not associated with adherence. Conclusion Differences in adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents were found to be related to ethnicity and age. Adherence was found to be lowest in younger patients and Filipino patients. This is a significant finding considering that younger diabetic patients have been shown to have the poorest glycemic control and worst health outcomes. Although the literature on adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents and health outcomes in Filipino patients is limited, studies support an increased risk for developing diabetes in this group. This information can be used to target younger patients and Filipino patients to improve their adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents.
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